Science and Human Rights Seminar Series
The Coalition hosts approximately three seminars a semester on a wide-range of topics at the intersection of science and human rights. These topics can range from the experiences of researchers in countries with limited academic freedom, to research on specific human rights, to applications of science and technology that benefit humanity.
So You Found Some Uranium—Now What?
Illicit nuclear activities such as the assembly of weapons of mass destruction or radiological dispersal devices (“dirty bombs”) pose a threat to national and world security. National governments and world-wide organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency share an interest in monitoring and regulating international nuclear processes and materials. While performing monitoring activities, is it possible to encounter nuclear material that is out of regulatory control (e.g. smuggled or produced illicitly). In order to stop the proliferation pathway and identify the culprit, it is necessary to perform a nuclear forensic analysis.
The Disability Tax: The Toll on the Human Rights of People with Illness, Injury, and Disability
People with disabilities and chronic illnesses face hidden burdens and barriers, existing in addition to the challenges faced by their non-disabled peers, which can tax their inextricably linked social, material, health, and internal resources. The Disability Tax Model is a theoretical and operational model examining these impairment-related and socially-driven burdens and barriers to full participation and value in society that can even turn a mild or temporary condition into a permanent disability.
Shocking Stories of Suffering and Humanitarian Outcomes: Transnational Intervention into Qur’anic Student Begging in Senegal
Through shocking visual and textual displays of child suffering, transnational human rights activists denounce the phenomenon of Qur’anic student begging in the streets of Senegal, West Africa, as human trafficking and exploitation. Human Rights Watch claims that the tens of thousands of children begging in Senegal on a given day are amassed from rural families and transported to cities where their instructor-traffickers force them to beg for money. Local discourses support an alternate explanation of mass urban begging among Qur’anic students, locally called taalibes, which invokes traditional work-based models of religious instruction, and recent rural economic decline rooted in structural adjustment austerity and climate change. I engage with research in medical anthropology of global health and transnational governance, interdisciplinary studies of human rights, and anthropological studies of cross-cultural childhoods, to illustrate why the divergence between these discourses surrounding Qur’anic student begging has hindered humanitarian and human rights efforts to improve conditions for the taalibes over time.
Open Science: Building Transparent, Collaborative, and Accessible Pathways to Knowledge
Ever wonder what people mean by open science? How it can impact your research? Come learn more about the open science movement with two of our CWRU librarians, Mark Clemente and Evan Meszaros.
Understanding the Right to Science
Dr. Brian Gran, CWRU professor of sociology and law, explains what the right to science means and suggests ways in which we can hold countries responsible for their obligations under the right to science.
Why Scientists Must Speak Up: An Argument for Academic Advocacy
Dr. Suzanne Rivera is the Vice President for Research and Technology Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She also is a faculty member in the Department of Bioethics at the CWRU School of Medicine and serves as the Institutional Official for Human Research Protections. She sits on the national Boards of Public Responsibility in Medicine & Research (PRIM&R) and the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR). Dr. Rivera previously served on the US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP) and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Human Studies Review Board (HSRB). Her scholarly interests include research ethics, health disparities, and science policy. In addition to writing numerous journal articles and book chapters, Rivera co-edited the book Specimen Science, which was published by MIT press in 2017. She currently is the Co-PI on a grant from the Cleveland Foundation to build an Internet of Things (IoTC) Collaborative in partnership with Cleveland State University, and she is a member of two other funded grant project teams: one concerns the ethical implications of biobanking human specimens and the other involves building capacity in Uganda for oversight of human research protections.
"Alternative Facts" and the Politicization of Science: A Brave New World?
Mark Aulisio, Ph.D.,is Professor and Chair of the Department of Bioethics at Case, where he also serves as Director of Clinical and Education Programs in Bioethics. He is Director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics at MetroHealth Medical Center where he chairs the medical ethics committee, does ethics consultations, offers regular ethics education for health professionals and students, and is a member of both the Institutional Review and Privacy Boards.
Dr. Aulisio joined the faculty of Bioethics in September 2000 as an Assistant Professor. Trained as a moral philosopher, Dr. Aulisio received his Master's and PhD degrees from Bowling Green State University.
Access to Medicines and Health as a human right
Gloria Tavera is an MD/PhD student at Case Western Reserve University, and was recognized for her work with Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) by Forbes 30 Under 30 Healthcare in 2017. UAEM is a global group of university students and academics organizing for public control over medicine and its pricing. Gloria helped establish this group and currently serves as president of the board of directors. Gloria founded a UAEM chapter at the University of Florida in 2005 and now fosters the chapter at Case Western. Gloria’s research focuses on infectious disease genetics and immunology, particularly H. pylori bacterial genes associated with development of stomach cancer. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2009 with degrees in neurobiology, political science and a minor in public health. From 2009 to 2010, she conducted research in the neuropathology of dengue hemorrhagic fever in Mexico as a Fulbright scholar. The following year, she completed a research internship at the NIH as an intramural training fellow at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, studying malaria drug resistance.
The Challenges Facing Scientists in Mynamar
Daniel Lacks is the C. Benson Branch Professor of Chemical Engineering and chair of the Case School of Engineering’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Dr. Lacks has been a member of the Case School of Engineering faculty for 13 years. His research interests lie in molecular simulation of materials, and he has emerged as a leading figure in the university’s international efforts and influence. He created a unique study abroad opportunity for engineering students that allowed them to take one of their core course, thermodynamics, in Botswana, where they could see the principles brought to life in real-world scenarios. In addition to teaching formal courses abroad, he has taken dozens of students to perform solar panel installations in developing countries like Lesotho and Namibia. He was also the first western faculty member to visit an engineering school in Myanmar, where he played a key role in updating the country’s engineering curriculum and taught the first U.S. course in the country’s history after it reopened to the world following 50 years of political and academic isolation.